Musings

August? Already?

For a year that at times felt like it would go on forever and then switch to moving at warp speed, 2021 has been quite a ride.

I should state here and now that I’m not a fan of roller coasters. I’ve ridden on more than a few, survived, didn’t spent a lot of time or money at the chiropractor’s office and am more than happy to avoid them going forward. 🙂

In my corner of the world, we’ve experienced a very late Summer. Temps in the high 90s and low 100s usually arrive late June to early July. Somehow this year things were very different. Whoopee! /s Yeah, I’m not a fan of heat, either. As I write this, temps are edging closer to 100 and the humidity…is irrelevant at this point. It is miserable outside.

Speaking of outside, the Geraniums are still lush and green with no evidence of ever producing a flower. The tomato plants, however, are a different story all together. The one Large plant has 5 – 6 blossoms with 2 small green tomatoes. I honestly don’t know who is more excited, me or the plant. LOL!

In the meantime, I’ve been studying up on Ancient Rome along with some side forays into 18th & 19th century England. As a kid who grew up with quarterly specials covering a wide variety of non-entertainment programming, I find the process of uncovering this material interesting and worthwhile. Especially when you come across a book series that checks all the boxes. More about that later.

As you might have noticed, we are undergoing a bit of a renovation around here. I’m thinking it will be a slow but steady exercise in updating and upgrading. Personally, I can’t wait to see what comes next!

Musings

Pardon Our Dust!

As promised, the renovation of the OrangePlaidCat has begun! First up was an upgrade with the theme which has been an adventure. Not a bad experience, just one where there were Lots of Options and attendant confusion.

Readers – Heads Up!

It seems that there have been two separate feeds: The first was the original extended feed and the second was the direct feed (orangeplaidcat.com). Please check to make sure you are signed up for the latter.

Updating your feed will ensure that you get the latest posts. Can’t be missing out there, right? LOL!

Looking Forward

I’m planning on adding recipes to the site and am also looking at attachments that you can download. I experimented with that over the Holidays and it seems to have worked properly.

I’m looking at the Gallery and possible updates. The 2021 Garden Adventure photos have lived over on MeWe.com because there was space there. I might bring back a few or continue with new ones. (Note: The biggest tomato plant has two – count ’em two – buds as of today!

Speaking of recipes, I’m looking at adding craft or card recipes. Some bloggers have incorporated something similar into their formats and I think it could be a great addition here. I might expand it as I explore other crafts. Quilt projects, for example, might work well with that format. We shall see.

Last But Not Least

Never least. To all of you who have added me to your regular read list – Thank you! I can not begin to express how much I appreciate your sticking with me.

As always, please be sure to click on the “like” button if you enjoy a post and spread the word with your friends. We always enjoy company around here!

In the meantime, pardon our dust! 🙂

Musings

Breakfast Options

A Look At The Norm in Other Countries

I love breakfast! I can go full blown with eggs, toast, marmalade, bacon, sausage accompanied by a luscious cup of coffee. Alternatively, French pastries or just good toasted bread with butter and jam or jelly make a wonderful way to ease into the day.

A couple of my regular YouTubers recently posted on breakfast and I thought that both brought something interesting to the table, so to speak.

I do have to say that Cheryl and Mr. What’s For Tea had some wonderful meals, but the beans and toast always brings a smile to my face. As an American, these are basically Pork ‘N Beans – a favorite in my home although I’ve never had them for breakfast.

If you have not already done so, be sure to check out all of the recent videos in France. This one, however, just makes my mouth water. It has all my favorites!

While everyone has their particular favorites, I feel it is important to experiment every once in a while. You never know what you are missing, right?

What’s your favorite breakfast?

Around the House · Musings

Odds & Ends

Happy Saturday! Or whatever day you are reading this. LOL!

I just wanted to say a massive “HELLO!” to all the regulars and a “Welcome!” to those who are new. I’m glad you stopped by and hope you make sure to return often.

I also wanted to let you know that I will be making some changes to the place in the next few weeks. Nothing Earth-shattering – at least I hope not – but I will be adding some pictures and developing some free downloads to some posts. I’ve been testing out some ideas and am getting ready to put them into motion.

I’m so glad you are enjoying The Orange Plaid Cat! I enjoy this way of chatting with you!

As always, please let me know if you like something by clicking on the “Like” button at the bottom of all posts and don’t hesitate to comment or send me an email.

Talk more with you soon!

Cooking · Food · Musings

This Made My Heart Smile

I’ve long been a fan / admirer / pupil of Jacques Pepin. I enjoy spending time with him in the kitchen. Any kitchen. What he brings to the table is not only a wide knowledge of food and technique, but an ingrained frugality. There is rarely any frivolity in his menus.

That is not to say that there isn’t a touch of whimsy floating about. If you watch any of his cookery shows for very long, you will no doubt catch bits and pieces of his humor, his cheekiness, his love of the kitchen – and people.

Chef Pepin’s menus encompass using the best of what is available and wasting very, very little. It comes from his background in France growing up during World War II when food, among everything else, was exceptionally scarce.

As a result, he learned how to stretch the proverbial penny until it squeaked, making meals out of what might seem nothing into something rich, satisfying, comforting, delicious.

I encourage you to spend some time with Chef in his kitchen. Listen carefully and learn as much as you can. He is eager to teach you, help you, mentor you so you, too, can make wonderful food for those you love.

Truly, Happy Cooking!

Musings

Are You In Your Own Way?

I’ve had a bit of an epiphany lately. Actually, possibly, more than one.

As I’ve mentioned in earlier posts, as a result of several tried and true tools going bonkers and giving up the ghost, as it were, I ended up not only replacing them, but picking up some things that I’d put on my long term Thinking About It List.

As those items were delivered and I began to repair, replace and tidy up a bit, I realized that because I had stopped waiting for my opportune moment, and just got on with the job(s), things were actually getting done. I wasn’t waiting for me to get around to making that wall hanging, quilt, or put up mini blinds.

To put it bluntly: I just got on with it. And, you know what? It was worth it!

I realized that the mini blinds just were not going to be hung because, frankly, I really didn’t want them. Maybe another time, but not now. As for the sewing projects, I’m not ready to dive into any at the moment and waiting for me to get ready literally kept putting me on hold.

Sort of a version of what happens when you ‘want’ something. You keep staying in that state of ‘wanting’ and never actually ‘getting’.

Now there is an additional side to this epiphany. Some things actually do take time to happen. I’d been pondering a certain set of gallery wall frames but had nothing to go in them and they ended up being relegated to my “Later” list.

I’ve recently begun to clear out my craft room and I also picked up a couple of sets of designer series paper from Stampin Up. Now, I don’t make enough cards to accommodate a lot of stock on hand, but those papers are luscious!

And then I realized that they were the perfect size for those frames and would be beautiful home decor pieces. And they are!

Now I can feel myself relaxing to think about a wall hanging or two. The roadblocks I put up for myself by Waiting Until The Opportune Moment were gone and opened up a bit of possibility.

The Opportune Moment
The Moral of the Story

If you find yourself stuck and you don’t seem to be getting anywhere, take a moment to stop and look closely at the situation. Did you manage to put yourself in your own way? Are you stopping you from achieving what you want because you are waiting for the perfect situation or the opportune moment?

While everything might not be perfect to get the end results you want, perhaps you can find a solution for now with the idea of updating, upgrading or improving later? The longer you wait the longer you wait.

I hope this helps.

Musings · YouTube

Interesting People: Morgan Donner

I would like to say I was introduced to Morgan Donner via the YouTube Costume Community and their holiday Secret Santa Videos. This would be back in 2019, I think. Either that or via Bernadette Banner and one of her videos.

What I would like for you to know about her is that she is an interesting person who has lots of unusual knowledge used for out of the ordinary tasks, tools, and things.

She is, in many ways, a lot of fun to keep up with.

Check out her latest video:

What I find most interesting about this particular video venture is the way Morgan weaves coffee, pottery and history into something interesting, informative and, potentially, enjoyable. That coffee thing is quite interesting… and if you have Rakuten, you get a further discount. Just sayin’

I enjoy people who are not cookie cutter versions of other folks and Morgan certainly fits that bill. While she does delve into things that don’t always particularly grab my interest, she often provides a view at topics or projects that capture my attention.

Don’t take my word for it – check out her YouTube channel. Let me know what you think!

Musings

What’s Am I Missing?

If you are relatively new here, you might want to consider signing up for our free monthly newsletter. Each newsletter contains a new edition of The Magic Pantry which is usually a collection of recipes.

June’s Magic Pantry, however, is a collection of tips and tricks for the kitchen.

The newsletter is sent out to your email In Box on the first of every month. If you want to be on the list for June, click on the Newsletter tab and follow the instructions. Don’t wait too long! In order to get on the list, sign up on or before the 29th of the month.

Questions? Email me at craftybarncat@gmail.com.

Around the House · Crafting · Food · Media · Musings

When Was The Last Time You

Thanks to a comment by Jackie Bolhuis recently, I replaced my stamp pads which brought me up to date and allowed me to get rid of old, well used pads. This got me to thinking about all the other things that tend to get put off until ‘later’.

Quilters / Sewers
  • Changed the needle in your machine
  • Gathered all your notions and put them in their assigned spots.
  • Sharpened scissors
  • Replaced blades on rotary cutters
  • Checked your UFOs and decided which to work on and which to discard
Cooks
  • Updated your inventory
    • What needs to be used in the freezer or fridge?
    • What needs to be replaced?
  • Checked the expiration dates on your spices
  • Reviewed those recipes you’ve saved ‘until later’
Media Review
  • Reset your modem
  • Reviewed the streaming channels you subscribe to
  • Checked those subscriptions you have but might not keep up with
  • Reviewed your calendar(s). What needs to be changed or removed and what can be added?
Holiday Preparation

Hard as it might be to imagine, now is the time to start thinking and planning for the Winter Holidays. Some projects that a lot of time while others might be managed at the last minute. Things to think about:

  • Sewing or Quilting Projects
    • Gather patterns, fabrics and notions
  • Paper Crafting
    • Holiday papers and inks are starting to appear
  • Homemade Gifts
    • Collect the recipes and put together a shopping list
    • Start collecting the necessary dry goods now
    • If you are planning on making fruitcakes, now might be a good time to start them.
Have I missed anything?

Let me know!

If this has been helpful, please let me know by clicking on the “Like” button! Thanks!

Around the House · Musings

Taking A Breather

Or I might have overdone it a bit yesterday.

Much to my amusement, Saturday once again turned out to be a Busy Day. I don’t know why, but even though I’m retired I seem to get more done during the weekend than during the week. Truly, it makes no sense to me. A friend mused that it is a result of all those years when the only time to do housework, etc., was on the weekend.

The lawn guys came and mowed the lawn – and I can not tell you how thrilling it is to realize that I actually have a lawn after a few too many years of too much shade and too little grass. After all the rain we’ve had they had a bit of a clean up to do, but it still is beautiful!

I turned the telly on to “The Lawrence Welk Show” and went into the Library/Craft Room to start in on a clear out. I’d been working on it for a while; getting rid of old magazines and catalogs, sorting through the papers that needed to be shredded, collecting the no longer needed cardboard and started hauling it all to the trash/recycle bins. I even managed to kill my 25+ year old shredder. And I wasn’t even trying! LOL!

Clutter not only takes up space physically but it crowds out creativity, too. I recently splurged on replacement ink pads since my old one are a bit old. I also picked up a couple of paper packs that I really liked. After the major clear out, I sat down and put the color/name labels on the ends of the pads and set them up for storage. I drooled over the new papers, too. Why not!

I’ve been bingeing on card demonstrators to see new ideas for the new papers. Stampin’ Up’s new catalog goes live on Tuesday, May 4th so there are a lot of new ideas out there!

Paige over at Farmhouse Vernacular has introduced The Vernacular Society, which I think is brilliant. She has all the information on her website. I will be looking into joining.

The Garden Adventure continues. I have a window full of planters all with at least one seed that has sprouted and is in some level of growth. Many have 4 leaves or more!

Weather-wise we’ve gone from cold to wet to hot to cold to wet to …

My U.K. folks – Mr. Carrington, Hermione Chantal, and Luke Catleugh, posted recently about their adventures now that the charity shops are once again open and people are able to get out and about for a while. I honestly don’t know which I like most; the opportunity to do some armchair traveling or checking out the hauls.

DIY Danie has done some great projects around her house, too. All of them give me some inspiration as I work to update my home.

I’m thinking that it is probably time to get back to what I had planned before the shingles came to visit back in March. That being said, don’t be surprised to see some updates.

If you like what you’ve seen and read, please click on the “like” button below and please share us with your friends. I’m always amazed that there are so many folks who come by to see what Bella Cat and I are up to. We appreciate your including us in your own adventures.

That being said, if you have comments or suggestions, please don’t hesitate to let me know.

In the meantime, I’m off to put my feet up a bit. 🙂